Friday, April 5, 2013


bench outside PFC in Portland
     Last fall on a fabulous visit to Portland, Oregon, I was thrilled to discover a display case outside the People's Food Co-op with information on cover crops. This is a cornerstone of veganic growing since we build soil fertility by adding nutrients to the soil without first passing those nutrients in plant form through the body of an animal (ie, you really don't need animal manure, or any other animal inputs - like bone, or blood meal, etc to build excellent soil fertility!) 

cover crop seed and information for store patrons

     There were even bins of cover crop seeds available at this organic wholefoods grocery store for patrons to purchase. Portland is a vegan mecca and we can't wait to go back for another visit, which will be sure to include more plant-based food noshing (over 20 vegan restaurants in Portland…and lots of vegetarian ones!) 

     Thanks to the farmers and gardening enthusiasts there, and everywhere, who are helping raise awareness about vegan organic growing. Please Click here for a Beginners Guide to stock-free techniques!                           ……………

organic veggies available in the PFC in Portland
As a Canadian member of the Vegan Organic Network in the UK, I cannot emphasize highly enough how valuable a resource this organization is. Please check out their website for tons of fact sheets, and consider joining to lend your support. Members can subscribe to the quarterly journal, Growing Green International, which is always a fascinating and informative read for growers of all experience levels.

     The Veganic Agriculture Network based in Quebec, Canada, also has a fabulous website with lots of great info. Bookmark these two important sites, and visit the links list on the right hand side of this blog to see what else is going on out there in the revolution (including a list of great books)! If you have appropriate links to share, please get in touch and I'll add them to this site.

Fireweed and Mike at 2012 Veg Fest in Portland
There are multiple pages here on the DIVA blog, FYI. Also some great videos (including vintage footage of the late Robert Hart on the Forest Gardening page). Scroll back to earlier blog posts for more. Happy spring planting, everyone!

-Fireweed  (co-founder, DIVA)

Saturday, March 2, 2013

New Books!

Farming to Create Heaven on Earth

     Shizen Nouhou or “Natural Agriculture” has many different faces. As the name suggests, it is a way of growing food similar to other ecological farming methods, such as organics and biodynamics. But it is also a way of eating, a way of cooking, and a way of thinking about food. It is practiced by farmers and consumers alike, by individuals as well as entire communities.

     In fact, with each new person involved, Natural Agriculture takes a new shape. That’s because Natural Agriculture is not just a set of actions, it is a whole philosophy, brought to life through our relationship
with food.

     Founded in post-WWI Japan by farming pioneer and spiritual leader Mokichi Okada, Natural Agriculture is now practiced throughout the world. “Farming to Create Heaven on Earth” is an exploration of the philosophy in all its modern applications, from a CSA that feeds 1,500 families in Tokyo to a high-desert garden in the wilds of Southern Colorado. Illustrated with more than one hundred color photographs, the book profiles dozens of different Natural Agriculture farmers and consumers and how they guide their lives with this unique philosophy.

Also new:

Growing Sustainability

by Dave of Darlington. £8.50.The book is a compilationof the writings of Dave of Darlington – atreasury of useful information for gardenersand farmers, gleaned from Dave’s longexperience and enhanced by well-informedthoughts on the ethics and politics behind farming.

Please visit the Vegan Organic Network website to purchase these and other great books on veganic growing also included under 'Books' in the list on the right hand side of this page!

Friday, January 25, 2013

One Path to Veganic Permaculture

Veganic permaculturalist Helen Athlowe talks about 'conservation farming' in this clip filmed for a permaculture site several years ago featuring land in Montana. She moved on from there to BC, Canada to pursue an interest in forest gardening. Today she consults for other farmers and is sharing the vegan organic message in the USA and Canada, and her veganic practises know-how in various ways. Visit  "One Path to Veganic Permaculture" on line for more photos!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Harold Brown describes stock-free farming

Viewers may recognize Harold Brown from the Tribe of Heart documentary: Peaceable Kingdom- the journey home
This former cattle farmer is now a proponent of stock-free growing methods.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Veganic Forest Gardening Atelier Wknd. Workshop, May 10, 2012

This blog shares a wide variety of information about stock-free growing, not limited to vegan or vegetarian farmers. The following animal-positive event in Quebec, Canada, however,  is designed specifically for vegans interested in learning about this topic. Teachers are Shantree and Lorenna Bousquet-Kacera of the Living Centre in London, Ontario, Canada. Please spread the word!

  • Saint Cyprien de Napierville

  • * This event will be strictly vegan-Cet événement sera strictement végane.Le cours sera donné par Lorenna et Shantree Bousquet Kacera du Living Centre.The course will be taught by Shantree and Lorenna Bousquet-Kacera of the Living Centre,London Ontario. Le prix sera décidé bientôt.The price will be decided soon

    Minimum of 10 people,maximum 20.There must be at leat 10 people by April 1 for the course to happen.Minimum 10 participants,maximum 20.Il faut au moins 10 participants avant le 1 Avril.

    For further information, visit

    Interview with master vegan permaculturalist and herbalist Shantree Kacera 

    Please see the Forest Gardening page on this blog for more videos on that topic.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Interview with Kelly and Groleau on veganic ag

Give a listen to this interview with Meghan Kelly and Stephane Groleau of the Veganic Agriculture Network, on vegan activist Caryn Hartglass's excellent radio show REAL (Responsible Eating and Living). Brief discussion about the activists' plant-based lifestyle proceeds the conversation about farming.

Stephane and Meghan founded the Veganic Agriculture Network in 2008 to promote farming and gardening that is free from chemicals and animal by-products. Their website features profiles of veganic farms in North America, and introduces people to the main concepts of farming and gardening in a way that is environmentally sustainable and compatible with a vegan ethic. In 2004, Stephane visited veganic farms in Europe for 9 months, and began the website to promote veganic agriculture in the French language. He has a diploma in Organic Agriculture from the Cegep de Victoriaville and is a frequent writer for the magazines BioBulle and Growing Green International. Stephane and Meghan both garden veganically in the village of St-Casimir, Quebec.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Plants for A Future with Ken Fern

 Ken Fern introduces a variety of rare and unusual plants, particularly those which have edible, medicinal or other uses. Practising vegan-organic Permaculture with emphasis on creating an ecologically sustainable environment based largely on perennial plants.


What is veganic agriculture?

Also called stock-free farming, vegan-organics is a system which avoids all artificial chemical products (synthetic fertiliser, pesticides, growth regulators), genetically modified organisms, animal manures and slaughterhouse by-products (blood, fish meal, bone meal, etc).

DIVA employs the word 'veganiculture' to reflect the integration of vegan-organics, permaculture techniques free of domestic animals, and the cross-cultural adoption of veganism as a dietary and lifestyle choice where possible around the world.